The film opens with the bloody murder of a young woman, and then transitions to the Police station in a small town, where Sheriff Glen Darnell is preparing to transport the suspected murderer, Wade Overton, and another prisoner, Henry Dobson, to a prison facility. When the sheriff dies in a car crash, Wade kills Henry and escapes into the corn fields, running for hours through forests and rivers to avoid the authorities. Finally, during a thunderstorm, he finds shelter at an isolated old house owned by Edna and Harley Whalen, a sweet elderly woman and her cantankerous husband. As Edna treats him like a son, he tries to discover a way out of his situation, even if it means murdering them as well.
Wade panics when the Whalens receive a visit from the new Sheriff, Nate Fields, and hides in the barn. When Fields informs them of the accident and the escaped prisoner, Edna lies to protect Wade, much to Harley’s horror. Also, she peppers Fields with questions about his marital status and makes suggestions of single women in town. Meanwhile, Wade has discovered his gun is missing and decides to make his move once the sheriff drives off. When Harley goes out to the barn, Wade waits motionless with a meat cleaver raised above his head. The sound of the creaking door swinging shut is quickly followed by a blood-curdling scream.
Later, Fields and his deputy are in the office looking tired and discouraged, when they receive a notice. Tom Wilder, a drug dealer with two counts of armed robbery, is thought to be in the area. While they set about checking the bus station and the air field, an overdressed Mavis Freely arrives to flirt outrageously and demand attention to her security concerns.
A few days later, Tom Wilder enjoys a dinner with Edna and Harley Whalen. Meanwhile, upstairs, moonlight casts shadows through the gothic window into the locked room at the end of the hall. It is a dark and secret place, a memorial in recognition of kindred spirits. None of the young men who wander into the lives of Edna and Harley Whalen are ever free of guilt, much less innocent. Evil begets evil in this world, and even more so in Sanctuary.
© 2018 THE SANCTUARY